How to allow yourself to be a beginner



I think it’s  important for everyone to remember this statement, not just in exercise activities, but in life.

For me, my journey over the past few years has been filled with a lot of beginnings.  Situations where I was over my head.  Work (new jobs), grad school, a dissertation, attempting to work out again, hurting myself, PT, and now where I’m at today.

It’s been a ride- one that could have been much easier if I would have just allowed myself to be a beginner.  But no, society expects us to be great at everything we do.  So when you fail at something, you immediately beat yourself up about it and feel guilty and stupid.

The reality is, we are all beginners in our own way.  And this is the lesson that I took to class with me last night.

There is another woman at the studio who started around the same time I did a couple of months ago.  She has progressed immensely in some of her postures.  In fact, she did a floor bow pose that was so impressive a couple of weeks ago, I actually said “that is awesome” in class, which was a little weird for her, I’m sure.  Immediately after I complimented her, I felt bad about myself.

I started to think about how slowly I’m progressing and for several classes I spent a lot of time comparing myself to other people in class.  I focused on my limitations, rather than my progress.

Then I found this quote.  I needed to allow myself to be a beginner. Not just recognize and acknowledge it, but also to allow myself to go at my own pace without being critical.  I hear it every time I go in to the studio- this is just one day, one class, your body during this one day and one class.  Start to accept what is happening today and forget about the last time you were here.  Stop worrying about your “future” body.  I understood it, but it didn’t really sink in until last week.

By truly accepting myself as a beginner, I am kind to myself.  By being kind to myself in class, I stop the mental chatter and am able to focus on the dialogue and feel more peaceful.

By being more peaceful, I am more in tune with my body, which is getting more excellent every day.